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Men’s Grooming in Western Europe

November 2018

Flat economic performance in Western European markets impacts negatively on men’s grooming, still embedded in price competition and stagnation. Consumers, less loyal than ever, appear decided to turn to cheaper alternatives for products they increasingly consider as staples. Exceptions exist however, most notably in men’s toiletries where product lines are getting more sophisticated, to fit renewing consumers’ tastes and where growth opportunities are still to be found.

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This report comes in PPT.

Key Findings

Western Europe has the advantages and drawbacks of a mature market

Western Europe remains the biggest men’s grooming market by value. It is also a very mature market with one of the highest levels of consumption per capita and now struggling to deliver further growth. After years of ups and downs, the growth rate is expected to return to modest but positive figures over the forecast period. This is largely based on the prospect of recovery from once-ailing France and Germany.


Men’s grooming is a heterogeneous market. Shaving, toiletries and fragrances have few things in common other than their targeted population: men. Shaving has contracted following price competition. Toiletries benefited from men’s developing taste for grooming. And male fragrances have followed the general dynamic of the larger fragrances market in each country, booming in the UK and dropping in France.


Traditional distribution channels are generally struggling in the wake of new consumer preferences, most notably in shaving. Razors and blades are frequently purchased during grocery shopping, but the rise of shaving clubs and the war on price is eroding the share of hypermarkets and supermarkets. Online retail, however, is progressing everywhere.

Big players remain dominant but give ground to smaller disruptors

Despite a stable top 10 ranking over the historic period, the actual share of most of the top players has either stagnated or eroded. Procter & Gamble, although still first by a substantial margin, is a case in point. With Gillette embedded in price competition with smaller disruptors, its share of the market has consistently decreased in every country.

Key findings
Putting Western Europe in context
Positive forecast contrasts with historic ups and downs
Men’s toiletries sustains growth in Western Europe (1)
Men’s toiletries sustains growth in Western Europe (2)
New consumer behaviours impact categories differently
Toiletries go up, shaving in freefall
Men’s personal care routine becomes increasingly complex
Hypermarkets give ground to specialists and online players
New consumer preferences also impact distribution channels
The share of top players is inexorably contracting
Main players struggle but exceptions exist
Concentrated sales correlate with stagnation
Top players’ ranking remains conservative despite eroding shares
The UK and Turkey lead the way to growth
Post-recession recovery boosts men’s grooming
High disposable income remains Western Europe’s consumption engine
New lifestyle trends negatively impact shaving
Germany: market context
Germany: competitive and retail landscape
UK: market context
UK: competitive and retail landscape
France: market context
France: competitive and retail landscape
Italy: market context
Italy: competitive and retail landscape
Spain: market context
Spain: competitive and retail landscape
Netherlands: market context
Netherlands: competitive and retail landscape
Turkey: market context
Turkey: competitive and retail landscape
Belgium: market context
Belgium: competitive and retail landscape
Switzerland: market context
Switzerland: competitive and retail landscape
Portugal: market context
Portugal: competitive and retail landscape
Austria: market context
Austria: competitive and retail landscape
Sweden: market context
Sweden: competitive and retail landscape
Denmark: market context
Denmark: competitive and retail landscape
Ireland: market context
Ireland: competitive and retail landscape
Greece: market context
Greece: competitive and retail landscape
Norway: market context
Norway: competitive and retail landscape
Finland: market context
Finland: competitive and retail landscape

Beauty and Personal Care

This is the aggregation of baby and child-specific products, bath & shower, deodorants, hair care, colour cosmetics, men's grooming, oral hygiene, fragrances, skin care, depilatories and sun care. Black market sales and travel retail are excluded.

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